Sometimes good parenting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Alison will be back next week with part two of her ‘Rest. Why is doing nothing so hard?’ In the meantime, feel free to check out her blog, which is all about creativity. I love it!

We all know parenting is hard. Rewarding, yes. But definitely hard.

Today we said goodbye to our 21 year old, who, after just six months back with us after being in Canberra for four years, has now moved to Sydney on a one-way plane ticket.

He has always dreamed big, this boy of ours, and I suspect Sydney will be just one of many stops along the way to where he will eventually end up (I tried to get him to sign a contract stating that when the time came for grandbabies, he would move back to Brisbane, but he wouldn’t sign it, funnily enough!).

My husband and I have always encouraged our children to dream, and more than that, to chase their dreams down and catch them.

It’s risky, though. You pour your heart and soul into your children, give them your best years, cry over them, sacrifice for them, pick them up and dust them off, believe in them, help them believe in themselves.

And what do you get?

You get a confident, self-reliant, independent, strong, courageous person who up and leaves you!!

The tears I have shed since he found out four days ago that he got the job and started immediately, have been, I must confess, entirely selfish.

I know that he will be fine, that he will find his way, experience great adventures, learn heaps about himself and the world and grow in character and strength.

It’s not actually him I’m worried about. It’s me.

My poor mothers heart sometimes wishes we were more the type of parents to encourage our children to get nice, quiet, stable jobs and live two doors up from us. That way, maybe he would still be here, keen to come to each week for a Sunday roast and bring a load of washing over for me to do.

But, alack and alas, ’tis not the case and he has flown off into the wild blue yonder, without me.

I know that he is happy, that he is excited, that this is what he wants. But right now, right this minute….I’m sad he’s gone and I will miss him more than words can say. And knowing I have been a good parent means squat.

Now. Somebody pass me another box of tissues and another glass of wine, I’ve got a pity party to get to.

10 thoughts on “Sometimes good parenting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  1. I had a tear in my eye as I read this. It is hard to allow them to spread their wings when all you want to do is cuddle them as you did when they were a baby.Protect them from the big bad world. We have done all we can do, it is now up to them. Have the knowledge that they have grown into everything you could have hoped and more. Our 19 year old is off on a around the world ticket by himself in August. You have put, so eliquently , into words what I am sure I will feeling in 2 months time


    • Yes, I’m sure you will too 🙂 It is such a mix of emotions and feelings that it’s a bit overwhelming. Have some good wine and good friends handy to help ease the way, would be my advice!


  2. My poor daughter!! I know how you feel as I have been there too. There always seems to be something pulling at your heartstrings and you wonder – when will it ever end, will it always be like this? I remember Grandma staying up until Dad & I were home after being out for the evening, so I guess that it never does, once a parent always a parent!! But I can say without a doubt that the memories and the rewards are all worthwhile and in someways necessary for our development and completion as mature human beings. So hang in there!!
    I Love you xx


    • Thank you! Yes, it’s nothing that every parent doesn’t experience at one time or another….and yet another example of how you only really know these things when they happen and have little to no understanding of it unless you’ve been there yourself 🙂 Thank you for all your love and support – now I know first hand what I put you through!


  3. Wish I could come to your pity party. We’d get that party hopping! I know how you feel – I’ve said goodbye to my little boy numerous times – he went to military academy for his last two years of high school (he was still so young!!), then joined the military and moved 2,000 miles away (I followed him eventually), then Iraq…I agree that the feelings I felt were entirely selfish. I didn’t want to be without him, but he was fine without me! Once the grandkids started to arrive, I made sure I was in the same city. They can’t shake me – they move, I move. I know you are proud, but it’s the mommy-hurt that gets you. I don’t think there is an end to it – I understand my own mother better with each passing day.


    • Yes, you understand perfectly! Not sure I’ll be able to follow him around the place but we’ll have to wait and see what happens 🙂 And you are so right – I have a great sense of empathy and understanding for my own parents now I am one. Being the mother of a ‘grown up’ is much harder than when he was a baby, toddler, teenager, I think!


  4. Ohh, this makes me fret for the time when I will have to do this. I’m not good at goodbye’s, and I’m terrible with change. As much as I love my quiet, free time I love having that ‘sound’ of children around me.

    Bless your heart, and I pray you feel a little bit better soon 🙂


    • Thanks Kate 🙂 I agree, I love quiet time in the house but I love more hearing the muffled doof doof of music, x-box shooting and mumbled conversations through a closed bedroom door. Hopefully, as we have large age gaps and our youngest is just 9, there will be the sounds of grandchildren by the time the last one leaves, I’m just not going to cope otherwise 🙂


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